Nursery worker unfairly sacked

PUBLISHED: 12:35 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

A WOMAN was unfairly sacked from her childcare job because her boss failed to follow proper procedures. Samantha Loxley now faces a wait to hear how much compensation she will receive after an employment tribunal ruling. However, tribunal chairman Kevin

A WOMAN was unfairly sacked from her childcare job because her boss failed to follow proper procedures.

Samantha Loxley now faces a wait to hear how much compensation she will receive after an employment tribunal ruling.

However, tribunal chairman Kevin Palmer has ruled that because she partly contributed to the situation which led to her sacking, the amount she receives should be cut by 25 per cent.

Despite her unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims being upheld, the tribunal which heard the case in February, has now thrown out other claims that her sacking was linked to raising health and safety concerns.

Tribunal chairman Mr Palmer said the it was the unanimous decision of the three member panel sitting at Bury St Edmunds that no disclosures or complaints that Miss Loxley made exposed her to adverse treatment.

Miss Loxley was sacked in August last year for gross misconduct from her post at the Highfield Day Nursery in Station Road, Braughing.

Owner Christine Raniere said there had been a complete breakdown of trust as well as falsification of records after Miss Loxley was twice late for work but signed in using an earlier time.

Mrs Raniere said that health and safety allegations made to the tribunal by Miss Loxley about her business were groundless and untrue. Some issues had been dealt with months earlier while others did not exist at all.

Those allegations included mouse droppings in the kitchen at the nursery, radiators were uncovered, no fire drill had taken place for 18 months and the garden was overgrown with thistles and nettles.

The decision to sack Miss Loxley was taken following two incidents in which Mrs Raniere's husband arrived at the nursery at after 7.15am, the time when she should have been opening up, to find no-one there.

On each occasion, Scott Raniere said he then went to a nearby shop and returned a short time later to find that Miss Loxley had arrived but signed herself in at 7.15am on the nursery timesheet.

After a meeting at which Miss Loxley continued to insist that she had only been a couple of minutes late on one day and not at all on the other, the decision was taken to dismiss her for gross misconduct.

Mrs Raniere said she had to be able to fully trust her staff to maintain the strict standards imposed by her Ofsted registration and considered that the actions of Miss Loxley had caused that trust to break down.

Chairman Mr Palmer said that Mrs Raniere had failed to follow the correct procedures in dismissing Miss Loxley which automatically made it unfair.

He also said that the panel considered that if correct procedure had been adhered to, the dismissal would have still been unfair taking into account all the circumstances.

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